Undersheriff appreciation


Undersheriff Carey talks to a student on First Responders Appreciation day. “As a police officer, it isn’t my job to tell you what is the right decision. I just need to make the information available,” Carey said.

Marlee Mikesell and Jakob Aggers

On Tuesday, October 29, 2019 Lewis-Palmer showed their appreciation for First Responders by hosting a lunch for the El Paso County Sheriff’s department. Pete Carey, the El Paso County Undersheriff, came to the lunch and shared some of his knowledge and work with students. 

The position of sheriff is the highest position that one may have;however, the Undersheriff works directly under the sheriff and assists with running the department.  

“I work closely with the Sheriff of El Paso County,” Carey said. “Operationally, I make sure that the jail is doing what they need to do, and that patrol deputies, investigators and student resource officers have what they need to do their job well.”

The position of Sheriff is elected by the citizens of a county, but the position of Undersheriff is  

hired by the Sheriff. Usually the Undersheriff has several years of experience prior to being hired. The title of Undersheriff can also be referred to as the Deputy, depending on the ranking the county uses. 

“I started at the El Paso County Sheriff’s office in 1982, and I worked as the police chief at the Colorado Springs Police Department for seven years,” Carey said, “I retired earlier this year, and the Sheriff asked me to come over, so now I work with the Sheriff’s office. It has taken about 40 years for me to get where I am now. ”

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Department divides their goals by three categories, Mission, Vision and Values. According to the Sheriff’s website, their mission is to provide the citizens of El Paso County with effective and efficient public safety services.  We deliver them consistently with character, competence, and transparency. Their vision is to ensure El Paso County remains the safest and most enjoyable place to live and visit in the state of Colorado. We are committed to holding the highest standard for public safety to achieve a county free of crime and public disorder. The values that The Department has are honesty, loyalty and unity. Deputy Carey has carried out a similar mission, vision and values towards working. 

“I was always told by my family that no matter where you work, where you live, try to make that community, or that family or that organization better than it was,” Carey said, “That’s what it has always been with me: to make this community better and safer when I leave. I’d never look back; it’s the best job I could ever imagine having. It’s taken care of me and my family, and has made me feel like I’ve really been giving back.”

In today’s society, it is common to see drug use and abuse towards driving weather it be impaired or involving distractions, among teenagers. The Deputy Sheriff wants to bring awareness to the issues, before someone makes a mistake that they might regret later. 

“As a police officer, it isn’t my job to tell you what is the right decision. I just need to make the information available, and you have to make the decision yourself. The biggest challenge facing young people in our community right now is driving safety, and the school here is involved in the Drive Smart Challenge and making sure that we are educating everybody and keeping distractions away from teen drivers,” Carey said, “The other thing that concerns me with high school students is the availability of drugs including opioids and marijuana. It comes down to education and making the right choices.”

Not only does Deputy Carey want to bring attention to some of the issues that teenagers face, but he wants to encourage them to consider the field of law enforcement or any career in  public service. In the meantime, he wants teenagers to appreciate the place that they are in now. 

“What I would say after being a police officer for 40 years is that as you go through your high school years, live life and make choices that don’t close any doors,”  Undersheriff Carey said. “Don’t do anything that would create a criminal record, and keep your possibilities open to law enforcement, the fire department or good government jobs. Later, you may regret not getting a shot at something because of you choices you made in high school. Keep doors open, have fun and be as educated as you can about the choices you make.”